Pros and Cons of Hiring a Housekeeper

When time is money and you have a busy job in which your free time is precious, taking the time out to do tasks such as vacuuming, dusting and scrubbing can seriously cut into your relaxation time. While a lot of people simply suck it up and either devote a portion of their weekend to those often-annoying chores, other people opt to skip those duties, neglecting the housework in favor of enjoying their time off. That second option, however, will eventually lead to a rat infestation, or worse.

There is a third option, however, and if you’re a busy professional, it may be one that allows you to have the free time you crave, while at the same time not forcing you to live in squalor. Before you decide to hire out for your housekeeping services, here are some pros and cons to consider.

Con: You’ll still have to do some house-related tasks

Some cleaning services require you to provide the cleaning supplies and to keep them well-stocked, so be sure to find out what the deal is when you make your arrangement -- meaning you’ll need to stay on top of the supply list so as not to raise the ire of your cleaning staff. If you’re only hiring them for a few hours a week -- enough for deep cleaning without breaking the bank -- also keep in mind that the more time they spend picking up your dirty clothes and doing your dishes, the less time they’ll have for actual deep cleaning, meaning you will still have some household duties to attend to.

Pro: It can cost less than you think

Take a look at your own salary and then compare that to the cost of the average cleaning service in the area. If your hourly rate is significantly higher than the cleaning cost, it’s well worth the free time you’ll gain. If you’re a penny-pincher, resolve to work at home catching up on a work project for one of the hours your cleaners are there; since you’re working at your job at your hourly rate instead of cleaning, it’s going to be easier to understand how this arrangement is saving you time and money.

Con: It’s sometimes awkward to have them around

Some people opt to hire cleaning staff to come when they’re around, so as to avoid any issues with theft or to direct the action. That means, however, that you may have to deal with the awkward experience of lifting your feet off the carpet so they can vacuum around you while you’re lounging on the couch. Plus, if you hire a cleaning person for your off days, you may have to change out of your pajamas to preserve some level of self-respect.

Pro: You’ll enjoy more leisure time

With your house cleaned for you, you won’t have to wake up on Saturdays with that feeling of dread at all the chores you’ve neglected over the week.

Con: Your house might not be left to your standards

Before you hire someone, go around and make a list of the things you want done, and make notes of any special ways you do them. Be very clear with your instructions and make notes for your cleaners if need be -- but also recognize that it might take a few tries for them to get it right. What’s more, they might work slower than you expect. 

In other words, be patient.

Pro: If you own a home business, it could be a tax write-off

You heard that right. Check with a tax professional, but in some places, it’s a tax deduction to hire someone to clean your "office."

For the busy professional, even hiring someone to help with the more difficult, deep-cleaning tasks just one or two hours a week can make a big difference in your sense of well-being and your work-life balance -- but it requires good communication and some planning to ensure the relationship goes well.

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